I think I’ve previously mentioned my interest in black-coloured food, prompted by the 1989 Peter Greenaway film “The cook, the thief, his wife and her lover” in which the chef declares that he charges double the price for black-coloured items on the menu because they resemble death. To eat death is therefore to cheat death, thus giving the diner an additional sense of pleasure and defiance than when eating any other colour of food.
So naturally, when I saw black-coloured peanuts for sale in a shop in China Town I instantly bought them as a possible martini accompaniment. A recipe attributed to Taiwan, they are made with the ash of bamboo burnt at high temperatures.
An unusual combination of savoury and slightly sweet, with a peculiar outer texture I definitely like them. The ash coating wasn’t at all distasteful as some people might expect. I would definitely recommend trying them.
They make an unusual nibble to accompany a martini, as well as a conversational piece. They go nicely with tea as well.